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WWE NXT preview (June 21, 2017): Square up

Tonight’s show finds us at Full Sail, for the final episode from a taping (spoilers from which are here) which started to bridge the gap between May’s TakeOver: Chicago and August’s TakeOver: Brooklyn III. Here's what to expect.

The Headliner(s)

Hideo Itami is coming unglued. His injury plagued WWE run left him with a shot at NXT’s top prize in Chicago, and he came up short. Since then, a vicious streak has emerged. It was most evident a couple weeks back when rather than pin a clearly beaten opponent, he chose to continue delivering his finisher to Oney Lorcan.

Just as in the aftermath of his title match at TakeOver, Kassius Ohno stepped up to try and talk Hideo down. But unlike the locker room scene in Allstate Arena, this time, Ohno shoved back when Itami wouldn’t listen.

What does any of that have to do with Kassius facing Aleister Black tonight? We’re not sure! But Ohno asked General Manager William Regal for a chance to face his old Heroes Eventually Die partner from the indies as a way to be an example for the Master of the GTS, so...

... who are we to complain about Chris Hero vs. Tommy End matches?

The Title Scene

Last we saw NXT champion Bobby Roode, he was telling Roderick Strong to kick rocks, because he’s not the kind of talent who gets to face the top dog in “Bobby Roode’s NXT”. Roddy didn’t like that answer, and he definitely didn’t like the Glorious One talking trash about his fiance and handsome baby boy.

We know when we’ll next see Women’s champion Asuka. The undefeated Empress’ last match went to a no contest when she and Nikki Cross beat each other until they couldn’t get up, so seven days from tonight (or in a couple days if you want the spoilers from the next taping) Asuka and Nikki do it again in a Last Woman Standing affair.

Heavy Machinery have taken their quest for a tag title shot right to Authors of Pain, but Paul Ellering instructed Akam & Rezar to stand down. Does that put them at the front of the line, or will another name be entered in the Book of Dominance before them?

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Ember Moon’s road back to the top begins when she faces Peyton Royce. The Iconic Duo made the mistake of getting in Ember’s way just when she learned she was medically cleared from her Asuka-inflicted should injury and, well, an Eclipse is probably coming for one or both of PeyKay.

- She’s getting hype videos and will be in action tonight, so put your hair up and square up... the Sonya Deville era is upon us.

- SAnitY has been more active separately than together of late, with Cross’ title aspirations and Killian Dain picking up a big win over No Way Jose. What’s the status of Eric Young’s stable?

- Who’s the mystery woman who showed up to slap the hat off Andrade “Cien” Almas’ head a couple weeks back?

NOTE: Spoilers are out there for these pre-taped broadcasts (including here), but many Cagesiders don't partake. If you are going to post or discuss spoilers for this show before they happen, or results of future shows, please use the spoiler bar in your comment.

See you tonight for NXT, Cagesiders!

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